Barton -family of Surgeons 1800-1930

BARTON- Family of Doctors 1800-1930

Zephaniah, Maurice, Edwin and George

Zephaniah was born in 1780, in Horncastle, son of a chemist. 1805 he is Dr Z Barton, surgeon with an apprentice William Conolly (brother of Dr John Conolly) in Market Rasen. It is said that he arrived in Market Rasen in 1803. He married Jane Borman in 1807 and they had 12 children.

By 1841 census, he is living at Sheffield Manor, George Street, with his family. He has a successful Practice in Queen Street, which covered Market Rasen and surrounding parishes within a march of the town. He is also Registrar of Births and Deaths and The Tennyson Family doctor and friend. Dr Z Barton was often asked to intermediate between dissentant parties.

1849, the trade directories list him in Practice with his son Maurice- ”Barton & Son”, King Street.

The town gave Dr Z Barton a testimonial in 1851 as a mark of esteem for his 50 years work in Market Rasen. There were other doctors in Market Rasen during this time but he seemed to be the most influential.

Zephaniah died in 1854, his wife Jane died in 1865. There is a memorial to them and 5 of their children in St Thomas’ graveyard, opposite Sheffield Manor.

“ William Borman eldest unable to read date, Maria 1843 in a shipwreck of Northumberland, John 1832/3 died from gun shot wound accident aged 5 years, George 1850 and Thomas 1826 medical student”

Not listed was George Morris died 1812 infant or Susanna who died 1844 leaving behind a husband and young family.

His daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca lived in Market Rasen, until 1900s and never married. Charlotte was a lodge housekeeper in Lincoln until she died in 1876. Zephaniah junior went to Hong Kong in late 1850s, and was an Inspector of Opium.(son William born 1860 in Hong Kong)

Maurice Searle (1813-1889) married Sarah Eleanor Steventon in 1840. They had 8 children. He and his family lived in King Street next door to the surgery.

1856, Maurice went into partnership with Dr Henry Turnour- “Barton & Turnour”, Surgeons, King Street. He is also the Registrar of Births and Deaths and attending the Dispensary in the Market Place which had just opened.

The 1858 report from the Dispensary stated that they had 137 patients… 93 cured, 15 relieved, 6 died and 23 still under treatment. Dr M S Barton

was chair of The Foresters Friendly Society (1852), in 1859 they became yearly subscribers of one guinea to Market Rasen Dispensary.

The Dispensary merged with the new Cottage Hospital at 5 Dear Street, in 1868 and it was founded by public subscription and donations from local “big wigs”. Friendly societies collected a weekly contribution which would pay sickness benefits, doctors’ fees and funeral expenses.

The Cottage Hospital had 6 beds by 1871.

Over the next 10 years “Barton & Turnour” is a very successful Practice, 2 sons are training to be doctors, 1 is training to be a lawyer.

Maurice was a “very kind and understanding doctor”, who also was involved in the wealth fare of the town. He gave chemical lectures at Mechanics’ Institute, a member of the Discussion Society, Returning Officer for the Censuses and one of the first members of the Local Sanitary Board in 1878. At one point he was chairman of the Gas Company and shareholder. A member of St Thomas’ Church and the Churchwarden for 8 years.

In 1880 Sarah dies,

1881 census, Dr M S Barton is living at home in “the Grange”, King Street, widower with his 2 daughters Mary and Alice, and 2 sons Charles (lawyer) and Frederick. Also in the house is his nephew George from Hong Kong, a groom, cook and housemaid.

General Practitioner, MRCS, SSA, Lond, and Registrar of Births and Deaths.

His sons Edwin and George are both doctors working and living at 18 Dear Street, sister Frances is housekeeper.

Dr E W Barton campaigns against cholera, he warns of a possible outbreak in Market Rasen in 1883 due to the lack of sewage pipes in Waterloo Street. He put foreward a plan to safe guard against infection, pointing out lack of hygiene. Both brothers over the years are heavily involved with Public Health.

In 1885 Dr Turnour died and the Practice becomes “Barton & Sons”, 34 King Street.

Dr E W Barton gave his Medical Officers report “-2 cases of diphtheria during the month of November 1889, in Dear Street and Waterloo Road, which have been reported to the Sanitary Inspector. Several cases of measles, 7 births and 2 deaths”.

Maurice died on 7th December 1889. On the day of the Funeral all the business houses in the town closed for the day and private residents lowered their blinds.

Edwin William (1848-1914) and George Henry (1855-1936) continue in Practice with each other until 1900. When Edwin moves away due to ill health.

Edwin had married Helen Laurence in 1886, they had one son Percival who died in 1912

George had married Florence Holdsworth in the same year, they had 4 children- Frances, Florence,Maurice and Henry.

In April 1891 (the census) George is living in Brookside, King Street with his family. Brother Frederick has be committed to the Lunatic Asylum in Lincoln, (“born an idiot”) after his father died. Later in 1891 George had a new “The Grange” built, a large double fronted house with stables for his horse and trap and 2 acres of garden as he was a keen gardener.

Edwin and his family are at Searle Lodge, Dear Street, (private house today)

The Cottage Hospital,during 1890s is averaging 20 in-patients and 230 out-patients a year. Matron is Miss Joan Coles, and it is open Monday to Saturday 9-11, 11-1 on Tuesday. The in-patients have to pay a small weekly sum.

1896 Kelly’s directory listed the brothers…..

“Edwin William Barton, M.D., Surgeon, verifying factory surgeon and Medical Officer of health, urban district council and to Cottage Hospital and dispensary and medical officer and public vaccinator Market Rasen No 1 district. Barton M S & sons”

“George Henry Barton MRCS Eng. LRCP Edin., surgeon and Medical Officer and public vaccinator Market Rasen No 2 district, Caistor Union and surgeon to Cottage Hospital and dispensary. Barton M S & sons”

Over the next 40 years Dr G H Barton lived at The Grange, running a successful Practice with several other doctors after his brother moved away. 1900-”Barton & Trumper”, 1905 “Barton, Griffiths and Jackson”, 1909 “Barton, Jackson and Pank”, 1913 “Barton and Pank”.

Whilst Edwin was away the new partners lived at Searle Lodge.

Edwin and Helen returned in 1913, a year later Edwin died, he had had several strokes and never recovered from the death of his son. He was remembered in the paper for being a good doctor, a violinist and conductor of the Local Choral Society.

Helen lived there until she died in 1943.

George’s son Captain Maurice Barton of R.A.M.C.T. medical officer with 5th Leicestershire Battalion T.F. was awarded the MC in 1915, he returned to his studies and became a hospital Ophthalmologist in Leicester.

Market Rasen Mail 27th May 1916

Maurice Barton conferred the Military Cross by the King

For conspicuous gallantry & devotion to duty at Hohenzollern Redoubt on 13th October 1915 in tending & bring in wounded under fire. He also rallied & sent forward men who had become scattered. This is not the first time Captain Barton’s bravery & good work have been brought to


His other son Henry Reyner Barton was an actor and author.

In 1920 the District Nursing Association emerged with the Cottage Hospital. By 1926, George was responsible for district No 1 not 2, and also a factory inspector. The surgery is still next door at 34 King Street.

His daughter Florence married that year and moved to Fairfield, Linwood Rd.

Dr G H Barton retired in 1926, he is listed as private resident in Kelly’s directory. He died on 31st March 1936. He was remembered by his patients for his kindness and wearing a top hat on a bicycle! He also had a good tenor voice, with Florence (on the piano) joined in many concerts. George was one of the first motorists in the town, and he was hon surgeon to the Cottage Hospital. He had attended De Aston School as a young child before going to school in East Retford (1871 census).

De Astonian magazine Summer 1936

In 1930’s there were stories of an unlucky bed in the Cottage Hospital… “nobody wanted to be the third to die in it.”

Doctors’ Surgery

In 1939, UDC log for evacuees listed The Grange as “ 12 habitable rooms, 4 residents, could take 8 more-1 Teacher and 7 unaccompanied children. Need more bedding- do not use top rooms unless really necessary”

1941 the Cottage Hospital closed, 2 nurses bought the house and ran District Nursing Operation from their home. It is now a private house with original mortuary building in the garden.

When Florence died in 1949, her daughters sold the house to the Council, who ran it as a children’s home until 1990s. When it was considered too big and expensive to run so it was closed.

Axiom Housing Association bought the Grange in 1995, extended the building and opened March 1996 as “The Foyer” a home for vulnerable young people. It is a Grade 11 listed building.

Kelly’s,White’s, Post Office and Morris’ Directories between 1822-1937 Apprentice records, censuses, doctor registration, college and war records records

Rase Heritage Society

Market Rasen Mail

An Early Victorian Market Town 1850s

The History of The Grange by Young Roots Team


old Cottage Hospital, 5 Dear Street

The Foyer (The Grange), King Street and surgery 34 King Street

The Grange home of the Barton family

The memorials to the Barton Family in St Thomas Graveyard